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RE: List of ID corrections was Ap. jurua

I completely agree with Mike W.  It is much safer to identify the fish as
far as possible, down as far as race or population, for all the reasons he
stated.  Randy's problem is approaching from the other end, trying to
identify an unidentified apisto, and so is naturally more difficult, if not
impossible, than just supplying the extra information.

Species are a human concept.  The lines between species are drawn
arbitrarily by humans, based on an interpretation of characteristics and
their relative difference and significance.  If you accept evolution as an
ongoing process, and apply it to apistos, then it is to be expected that
fish will be found that range from very similar (just starting to separate)
to very distinct (separated long ago) genetically.  Where you draw the line
and say it's become a new species is where the debate happens.

DNA studies are valuable this way because they can give an idea of the
degree of genetic difference (and conversely similarity), and so infer when
the ancestors of the fish being compared began to diverge genetically from
each other.  It must be remembered than any species or species complex that
evolves from a very small population will have fewer genes to work with, and
so be very similar genetically whilst physically quite different.  The Mbuna
are an example of this effect.

Steve W  


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